Twas the Week before NaNo

In honor of the last week of October, here’s a Throwback Post.

‘Twas The Week Before NaNo

‘Twas the week before NaNo, and all through the land
Not a writer was ready, not even the grand;
The stories all waited, ev’ry last one,
In hopes NaNoWriMo soon would be won;

The characters jostled all shoved in our heads,
While visions of new worlds continued to spread
And Facebook on the PC, and I in my tweets
Had just settled DOWN to fill those blank sheets—‌

When up on the screen there arose such a clatter,
I clicked off my doc to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Scrolled over the adverts and cleared out my cache.

The notification of a new month said hello,
Giving luster of import to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should egress?
But a miniature list with eight friend requests!

Then with a li’l old idea, so lively and quick,
I’d know in a moment if this one would stick.
More rapid than eagles, the story now came,
And I whistled and shouted, and called components by name:

“Now Chapters, now Setting! Now Plot and Conflict!
“On False-peak, on Raised-Stakes! On Black-moment-strict;
“To the top of the peak! To the climax and fall!
“Now type away! Type away! Type away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When you meet with an obstacle: write fast, do not sigh;
So, up to the document’s top, I will go
With my head full of musings‍—‌my ideas now in tow:

And then in a twinkling, you’ll hear my keyboard
The tapping and clacking, each word I’ll record.
As I draw down my head, and ignoring all sound,
Down the page, my story will grow with a bound:

My main character formed, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of supplies was flung on her back,
And she look’d like a peddler just carrying her pack:

Her brow—‌how it furrowed! Her eyes, my how wary,
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry;
Her fair little mouth was drawn up so’s to bite,
And the hair on her head was as black as the night;

The dangers she fled were as deadly as sin
And the safety she sought, oh–her lead, it was thin;
The plots, they did lead, and oh how I chased ’em,
While watching my subplots all full of odd whims:

A blink of my eye and a twist of my head
Soon’ll give me to know I had nothing to dread.
I’ll speak not a word, but return to my work,
And fill all the pages; then turn with a jerk,

And stretching my fingers, all done with their task
And after a click on the save key, I’ll finally bask.
I’ll spring to kitchen, to my fridge give a peek,
And filling a good bowl with th’ ice cream I’ll seek:

Then you’ll watch me update, ere the clock strikes midnight—‌
Happy NaNo to all. Put up the good fight.

(For more tip-filled posts, check out my previous NaNoWriMo posts:
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
An Outline To Write By (for Plantsers and Plotters)
How to win NaNoWriMo
3 Things That Helped Me Win NaNoWriMo early
Craft Vs Professionalism )

Poetry Challenge: Part 5

The Final Poems

My last few days of the challenge, I fell into my own sort of couplet structure, following the suggested themes. My penultimate one feels extra-appropriate for election day.

Have you been participating? Share a link to some/all of your poems.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know which style connects with you!

For day 29 of #OctPoWriMo, after a 12 hour day at work, I got hit by a theme near-and-dear to my heart.

See one then blink, then see again
But something, it strikes different then

Is it a look, or length of stride
‘It’s clear that something’s off,’ you sighed

You strum, then drum, then stroke your chin
You sit and ponder, then within–

The thought, it makes your eyes go wide
And bring not one, but two besides

Of course, the answer is, “we’re kin”
Identical–she is my twin

On the penultimate day of #OctPoWriMo, the theme was ‘Jolt’. I hope you’re inspired by this one, to get out and vote.

Day after day, going along
Doing your thing, breaking your bread

Keep your head down, don’t cause alarm
help when you can, dodge when you can’t.

Until. BAM!

Once you look up, what do you see?
Things need changing, you’re their best shot.

The time has come, roll up your sleeves
Dive right in for, it must be done.


And my final poem was:



With a blink, today’s gone.
Did I spend it all wrong?

I did stretch myself thin,
meeting calls, fixing bugs,

focused on three things,
but never just one.

And yet still there is more
work given, self-driven.


There’s a slice left for me.
And that’s when I’ll just breathe.

Poetry Challenge: Part 4

My 4th Week Of Poetry (almost done!)

I continued experimenting with styles, mostly following the suggested themes.

Have you been participating? Share a link to some/all of your poems.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know which style connects with you!

For day 21 of #OctPoWriMo, here’s another cinquain.




My head,
It fills with tales
Of beasts, lore, and magic.
Where those fighting for the truth



Following the theme for #OctPoWriMo day #22.


Where do you spend your time?
At work?
At home?
The road?

Who gets your time?
Your boss?
Your friends?
Your family?

What gets your time?
Your chores?
Your phone?
Or your dreams?

Day 23’s theme was “muddy”. Here’s my poem.



A new project shines
with plans and great lines

The future looks bright,
naught’s left but to write

But once I’ve commenced
the order’s dispensed

The molehills grow tall
while the plot now stalls

The only way through
is drafting anew

From shiny to mud
turn to ink from blood.


Day 24 of #OctPoWriMo theme was ‘Chop’


img_20181025_004313_5855331509717121494014.jpgWhen you can’t face the mirror
as the monsters all draw nearer

And mistakes from in your past
seem too numerous and vast,

What you need then is a change
something different and quite strange

With a makeover and chop
take a little off the top

Hide the body well, my dear
and you’ll be living in the clear.

For day 25 of #OctPoWriMo, I presented a limerick, for the theme ‘prickly’.

When life gets rough, many of us have a tendency to cave and avoid others. With any luck, we have good friends.




There once was a prick-i-ly man
being alone was his true, perfect plan
He hid in his room
and welcomed his doom
But his friends would not follow his ban




Friday, the 26th’s theme was “stretch.” I know I’m not the only one who’s always creaked in the morning…

img_20181027_003357_2676051849523190980044.jpgWAKE UP CALL

Every morning when I wake
every step that I do take

I hear these sounds echoing
Rice Krispies or corn popping

When it started I was new
and now these days I must rue

Crackle, and snap, and pop-pop
from toes to hips, it won’t stop

when your ribs think they’re a joint
and your sternum adds a point

Are you really getting old?
Just stretch yourself and be bold.

Saturday the 29th brought us the word ‘thunder.’ The day was dreary and rainy, itself and led to this poem. (I did, despite my poetic dreams, get out of bed before 9am both days this weekend, using ALL my pep.)


Dark and dreary
makes me weary

Thunder rumbles
all pep crumbles

Rain is pouring
I’m ignoring

my alarm’s

And Sunday’s challenge for #OctPoWriMo day 28 was: Gifts



There are gifts we give
and gifts we take
and gifts that we were born to use

And in each type
we find a mix
for some don’t fit us very well

Wish we could be rid
but we can’t share
the ones we must grow into

Ought to use for good
and not for ill
then we can be our best selves.

Poetry Challenge: Part 3

My Third Week Of Poetry

This time, I was all over the place, style-wise and thematically. I followed many more of the suggested themes and followed it where it would lead me.

Have you been participating? Share a link to some/all of your poems.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know which style connects with you!

For Day 13 of #OctPoWriMo the theme was “guarded.”



The Fall

Can’t ignore

Craving more

Longing for

What’s in store?


Day 14’s theme was “clock”. I think my earlier poem summed up my feels on time, but here’s another take.

(Confession, I was kinda singing this one while writing it.)



Ticking By

Never enough,
No calling its bluff,
Give me more.

Flying on by,
It’s making me cry,
It won’t stop.

Filling my days,
They’re gone in a blaze,
‘Til none’s left.

Tryna keep up,
Just wanna back up,
Time moves on.


For day 15, the theme was ‘weak’, which brought to mind my least favorite saying…



Sleep Is For The Weak

They say that sleep is for the weak,
the strong keep on
til they reach what they seek.

They say that only one can win
the losers weep
and wallow in chagrin

They say you sink or swim alone
reaching your goal’s
accomplished on your own.

They’re wrong.

I say that sleep makes me strong,
many can win
We’ve worked together all along.

Day #16’s theme was angular.

This one goes out to all my friends who are in the Query Trenches… And is properly sung to sort of the tune of Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast.




Got a pitch?
Got an angle?
Got some new thing you could try?

Write your query.
Pitch on Twitter.
Find an agent or some mentors.

Laugh out loud,
’til you weep
And it all feels way too much

Go it Indie?
Go Small Press?
Is Trad really what you want?

But your dream
It won’t lie
So you’ll pitch until you die.

or the magic
fin’ly kicks in
And your book it sells like hot cakes

That the life
That’s the wish
that all writers want to have.

Love our books
Love our worlds
and please make yourself at home.

Day 17 was mellow and melancholy.



Tears shall fall like leaves,
for joy or loss or stress relieved,
but only when the time is right.

Love can build and grow and change,
rarely stagnant and encaged
Yet one cannot a bridge uncross.




For day 18, the topic just kind of made this a little darker than I normally go for it… But I know people who struggle. ❤ Best wishes for those of you fighting the good fight.




Pop open a bottle to find
Genius or liquor or pills.
Whichever kind
Of relief stills
The stresses you’ve hidden within.






Days 19 and 20 ended up on the same piece of paper, despite there very different themes and tones. I was amused by the juxtaposition of the directions these two poems went.

The first is clearly from the point of view of my inner dragon while the second is more my more standard outlook.


Scorched | Breakable


I will rise and I will soar
burning cities in my wake.
As they turned into piles charred,
smoke will flume and leave just ash.


Be gentle with hearts
for they are quite breakable
Let’s share love, not hate

Poetry Challenge: Part 2

Another week of poetry for #OctPoWriMo

I hope you can find a piece to enjoy.

When Creatives Dream

We all want a sign
that it’s our time to shine
We dream what we dream
polish it to a gleam
Through toil and strife,
cut excess with a knife
To make–like a wine,
we work hard to refine
And then–oh our hearts–
to the world, we’ll impart
We’ll reach out and pine
Yet our luck must align
To find the right one–
An audience we’ll stun.”

My Precious

My Precious Busy days, busy lives Rushing here, rushing there After work, after chores that's when my treasure's found My precious, rare, spare time.
Busy days, busy lives

Rushing here, rushing there

After work, after chores

that’s when my treasure’s found

My precious, rare, spare time.


“Hope, like a river, ebbs and flows.
One dark day, a vicious act,
can somehow shrink it all away.

But the seed is hard to lose.
One kind word, a glimpse of hope
is all it takes to make it grow.

Shun the cruel and plant some hope,
At home, at school, at work, in life.”

It Calls

The sky is dark as the rain falls down. My bed it calls, so safe and sound. Too bad my book must wait again, For my day is not yet done

“The sky is dark as the rain falls down.

My bed it calls, so safe and sound.

Too bad my book must wait again,

For my day is not yet done.”

Word Sharer

“There once was a woman nerd

who wanted to share her words

she wrote them all down

then showed them around

and hoped she’d find her fan herd”